Aging Control System and Equipment Issues
The Lake Chelan Reclamation District (the District), a long-time RH2 client, was struggling with an outdated control system and electrical equipment that was more than 40 years old. Based in Manson, Washington, the District has nine pumping plants.
“They had some big control system problems. Whenever they had small power bumps, they had to manually restart the system. It would take about six to eight hours,” Clayton says. “This an area with very expensive vineyards and fruit trees where a couple of hours without water could lead to costly crop and tree loss.”
Clayton’s team upgraded the District’s control system with Rockwell Automation CompactLogix™ 5370 Controllers and an improved radio communications network. The team also put a plan in place to avoid manual system restarts after a power bump.
“We used Studio 5000® programming to look at the whole system and restart pump stations without operator intervention,” Clayton explains. “That led to a decrease in operator overtime and more uptime for the customer.” In fact, within the first 2 years of the control system upgrade, the District’s overtime dropped by as much as 25%.
System and Equipment Upgrades Provides Numerous Benefits
Next, the team upgraded the aging electrical equipment with Rockwell Automation’s CENTERLINE® Medium Voltage (1500) and Low Voltage (2100) Motor Control Centers.
“We were able to pre-procure equipment through CNWS. Pre-procuring is a risk that a lot of municipalities want to avoid. So, we try to make it very low risk. Rockwell Automaton really stepped up to help,” Clayton says. “We were able to work directly with the factory to design and provide equipment on an accelerated schedule and partner with Rockwell’s local distributor to manage spare parts, make sure equipment arrives on time, and everything is seamless.”
Before the upgrades, staff had to check the plants daily. Now, upgraded plants require only a weekly check. The district has also been able to reallocate operations and maintenance funding from these plants to other assets.
Additionally, with the ability to record and access power monitoring data, the team was able to uncover patterns of high power bumps and production schemes that caused plant issues. With those insights, they were able to modify the utilities distribution system to further improved operations.